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Adult sd back in our life

skipit's picture

My sd did not want to be raised by dh and me.  She schemed and planned with her mom.  Finally her dad let her go.  Consequently she became an addict, had 2 kids, lost them to the system and got incarcerated.  Dh and I enjoyed the drama free life we had and were planning our future.  She just notified us she is pregnant and no one is happy.  We obviusly thought motherhood wasn'tfor  her.  He wants to include her in our life again, he says he hopes she does better this time.  She is 36.  I say no, she was hell and she needs to go do her life.  He can wait until our children have children.  I don't want her in our life again.  He is in this is the 3rd kid with a third guy.  I don't think, in our late 50's, we need anything from her.  I thought marriage was the priority, but now I think blood is thicker than water.  Any advice would be appreciated.  Thanks.



SteppedOut's picture

YOU don't have to have her in your life. He wants to visit the junkie, whatevs he can go do it away from your home and children.

Disneyfan's picture

Parents love their children unconditionally no matter how awful they may be.  You can't replace one kid with another kid.  

It normal for him to love his daughter and be concerned about her and his grandchild.  

Just tell him that you do not want anything to do with her. (He should respect that)But don't try to push him to make the same choice.

Sandybeaches's picture

And I would make sure he knew that.  I would also make sure that he knows she is not welcome at your house or around your kids. It is not your fault that she has choosen the wrong path in life and you should not have to be subjected to her poor choices just because your DH is her father.  

tog redux's picture

I'm with the others - don't stop him from having a relationship with his daughter, but you don't have to have one - and put some boundaries around it, such as her not being in your home, etc.

skipit's picture

Thank you for the uplifting advice.  I have also found, that when I express my concerns to my sil she takes the side of her niece, as do my husbands other siblings.  I thought 25 years in a family made you family.  Boy was I disillusioned.  No one in his family thinks he should stop seeing his daughter.  I am sure if we divorce I will lose all of the family I have.  Do all of you agree that if you are not blood you don't really count? 

tog redux's picture

People outside of a toxic situation usually don't really understand what it's like for the people dealing with it.  I don't think it's that if you aren't blood you don't count - but that his family can't see her for who she is. 

Disneyfan's picture

You really expected her family members to side with you?  They made hate the addiction, that doesn't mean they are going to encourage her father to cut all ties with her forever. 

And yes, if you divorce, you will lose yout connection to his family.  

Sandybeaches's picture

"Do all of you agree that if you are not blood you don't really count? "

 I don't think that it is necessarily that you are not blood, I believe that it is anyone that does not drink the kool-aid and share the belief. 

I agree that in these types of toxic situations it seems to be anyone that does not get on board with whatever crazy situation is going on.  If you are the one that is going to do the reality check, you are the one that is going to be ostracized.  While it sure doesn't help that you are the Step-mother either in this case you could most likely be a blood relative with the same opinion you are having and get treated the same way.  

tog redux's picture

Yes, exactly. The one who says the truth, blood or not, is the one who gets cut off. The others can't or don't want to face reality. 

Gimlet's picture

I am a black sheep in my family of origin for just this reason. 

skipit's picture

Here is the thing, if he continues the relationship I am concerned she will manipulate him.  She does this, addicts do.  She will try to schedule trips to get more time with him and get him to pay.  He will give her whatever she wants.  He probably thinks if he gives her what she wants she will finally love him as much as she loves her mother.  That will never happen.  She will just use him. They kept secrets from me the first time around.  He rented storage for her, and we live in an expensive city.  I thought he was crazy.  I told him she was stealing, (she broke into our house when we were out of town) and he didn't believe me.  He thought I misplace my jewelry and shoes.  He found our I was right.  He wants to be her hero, I think. 

tog redux's picture

He might need to find out for himself who she really is. If you try to stop him from seeing her, you will get all the blame.

I do understand, though, how hard it is to allow a toxic person back into your life - but all you can do is protect YOU. 

missginger's picture

I have a good friend who is older than me and has two adult children. One of them ended up doing drugs and she was estranged from him for a number of years. He ended up meeting a woman and they had a child together. Long story short they ended up in a situation where they are all now living with my friend and her second husband. My friend did this for the sake of her grandchild. BUT She set up a lot of ground rules before they were allowed to move in and the biggest thing she is doing is going to Al-Anon. I would suggest you just have a nice talk with your husband explain your fears and maybe have him think of some ground rules that he needs to establish an order for her to re-enter your lives. Also Al-Anon may help him hear from other people what to expect what to plan for and what not to do.

notarelative's picture

had 2 kids, lost them to the system and got incarcerated

What are the chances of her retaining custody of child#3? She will be on child services radar and most likely will not get multiple chances. She may bring the baby home from the hospital, but she may not keep custody long.

SteppedOut's picture

This. Tick tock. It's likely just a matter of time.

Hope she at least stays sober while pregnant. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

I've lived - well, live - through this, but with my SSis. I have the luxury of writing her off and few people bat an eyelash. But when my SBro (who I adore and is her blood brother) cut her off? The family lost their minds! When my SF cut her off, or at least wasn't as welcoming and inviting? They lost their minds!

That is, they lost their minds until they were the ones who were stolen from, or threatened, or saw the damage she did to her kids. Then all of a sudden no one could understand why ANYONE supported her!

That is, until she went silent for a while. Then she'd find Jesus and be a "good girl" again. Or she'd date someone who seemed good for her. Or she'd get a job. She'd do something relatively short-term and "improve", then EVERYONE except for the siblings would be welcoming her back. Then we were vilified for not rolling out the red carpet for darling C**tucky (C'Tucky, for short). It was easy enough for me to not engage with the crazy stepfamily, but my SBro has lost access to most of his family, paternal and maternal, because he took a stand to not involve himself in her neverending chaos (and it has been 20 years of chaos).

So it's not that blood is thicker than water. It's that grieving is hard, and if there is a glimmer of not having to do it, you cling to it. It's that toxicity offers instant gratification, and that's appealing. It's that love for a family member may never really go away, and it's hard to not embrace it when it starts reciprocating again.

Ultimately, you can't stop your DH from having a relationship with his daughter. What you CAN do it set your own boundaries and make them very clear to him. He can visit, but lying to you or keeping secrets is a no-go. He doesn't need to tell you every detail (or any details) about his visits with his daughter, but no shares money needs to be given to her, no allowance for her to visit your home will be allowed, etc. Invest in some nanny cams or at least a Ring doorbell so that you can know if she comes to you home. Forbid her from your home (you have beyond gold reason to do this). If your DH doesn't like these rules and boundaries that really keep both of you and your family safe, then he is free to leave. Just know what the consequences will be, and stick with them, if he violates them.

Divorcing him isn't the solution *yet*, and forbidding him from never seeing his daughter will not be the solution, either. You absolutely have the right and responsibility to protect you and yours from her reach, and that will have consequences to your DH. He has to accept that this isn't YOUR doing, but his daughter's.

skipit's picture

SandyBeaches and Tog Redux.  Very insightful.  Yes, I guess after 25 years I thought I was blood.  Yes, they are all on board with the crazy.  They live out of state so they didn't live it.  They don't have a clue. Yeah, I get it about the crazy, if you don't get on board you are out.  They must think of her as the 10 year old they loved because after 10 they never had contact with her.

Can't fight crazy.


justmakingthebest's picture

I have seen and dealt with addiction in family members my whole life. You need to sit back and ask yourself- if this was YOUR child, the one you gave birth to, could you ever just cut them out of your life 100% forever? Hopefully that answer is no.  Hopefully your children know that you will always love them no matter what. It is what parents are SUPPOSED to do on a primal level. 

You/Your DH have to love addicts for who and what they are, if that makes any sense. Your DH loves the little girl he helped raise. He has a 2nd chance to be a grandpa again. He is hoping that she turned around. Hopefully she has! It is possible. HOWEVER- he needs to love her with boundaries in place. No money hand outs. No co-signing leases. None of that entanglement. 

Sure, when they go to dinner, he might buy. Sure, he might buy clothes or the crib for the baby. He won't 100% never give her anything, but he needs to know where that line is and honestly have that conversation with you and then with her. Having clearly defined expectations on both parties will be good for all involved. Also, making it clear that you want her to be sober and have a job for ____ (however much time you need) before you start to work on a relationship with her and your kids is also probably something that you can all discuss. 

skipit's picture

Lieutenant_dad, steppedOut, Notarelative,

My husband is clinging to that hope like you can't believe.  I know better.  He says I am just waiting for it to blow up so I can say I told you so.  Tick Tock says it all.  She is marrying the baby's dad.  He is 25, he isn't an addict but his mother died of alcoholism and his dad is an incarcerated addict. So nauturally she is the perfect fit....just more crazy.  Most 25 year olds are not looking for addicts 10 years their senior....

My husband grieved those babys that she lost, I'm sure he is angry I wouldn't jump in and adopt them, but I told him when she gets knocked up she isn't dumping her kids on my porch.  I know it is all coming around again.  My husband told me he thinks the worst case scenario is that this 25 year old ends up with custody.  That is really the best case scenario.

Gimlet's picture

Like some of the others, I also have lots of experience with addicts and I agree with their advice.  I'm a bit more cynical, though.

I think you are right to keep your guard up and to watch your husband for signs of enabling her.   It is completely up to you if you ever want her in your life again.   Addiction or not, people don't get unlimited chances to keep hurting you. 

skipit's picture

Thank you to all of you who have spoken up and given me things to think about.  I honestly thought he would have been done with her when she gave away his grandkids.  It is insane to me.  I once worked for a doctor, it was a whole different situation, but he used to tell me, "Don't take the bait"  to this day it serves me well.  

skipit's picture

Well, my husband has always kissed me goodybye when he went to work.  Today he didn't kiss me goodbye or even say goodbye.  I am pretty sad about it.  He suggested couseling,  That is where we are headed.  It is crazy that people will allow addicts cause problems in their marriages. 

justmakingthebest's picture

If I was in your shoes, I would try and stop looking at it like she is some stranger off the street. She is his child. She is a screw up and an addict but also his child. Not to be corny but have you ever heard the song "Somebody's daughter"? That might be a good one to listen to. 

Alanon might also be helpful for you and your DH to go to together as well. There is support for family of addicts. Like I said above, boundaries should be clear and upfront with her. She needs to know exactly what you expect of her and exactly how much support she will get  from her dad. Like it or not, she is having another baby, she is your husband's daughter, that will be his grandchild as well. Boundaries are important but so is a very cautious chance to prove that she can do better. 

Gimlet's picture

Have any of the addicts in your life turned around?

Because all I can see when reading this is just another chance to stomp people's hearts into the dirt.  I've never had a child with these issues but I've had just about every other flavor, including a niece who was as close to a  bio child as you can get.  She's not welcome in my home until she can prove she can stay sober.

And honestly, it's gross that this SD is having another child.  I wouldn't be one bit happy about that given the track record. 

Addicts asking for "another chance" just make my stomach clench up.  If she's serious about sobriety, she will make an effort to show that she is working on her recovery and will respect other people's boundaries.  

I know I'm a hardliner, I'm just curious about other people's viewpoints and what makes them more willing to try.  

justmakingthebest's picture

Yes. My exBIL was BAD. Meth.  2 rehabs that we paid over 20K for. Divorced. Lost multiple jobs. Was living in a car when we moved him in with us. Screwed up again! Threw him out.

I learned about boundaries. We kept healthy ones. He actually cleaned himself up when my oldest was born because I wouldn't let him around my baby without a clean drug screen. Both my in laws were dead and my ex and his brother were all that were left in their family. It hit him hard and he has been clean and working for almost 14 years. He remarried and has 2 kids.